Staying Safe on The Roads: Five riding tips for newbies
Motorcycles are great fun but it’s important to remember they are not safer than a car and if you’re a newbie to the world of bikes and navigating the road on two wheels, you should be prepared before hitting the streets.
For any new rider, the first couple of outings on the road can be nerve-racking. There is a lot of important information to process in order to keep you safe – and everybody else around you. As there is no seat belt or any airbags on motorbikes, just one mistake could cause serious injury.
Motorbikes can travel very fast and many people take for granted the lack of safety. They don’t have exterior frames like cars do, so they are unable to absorb collisions or crashes the same way that a car would. This is why it’s so important to take care when heading out on the road for the first time. Because of this, we have put together five riding tips for newbies, to keep you safe and having fun.
- Wear the correct gear
This might sound like an obvious one but you’d be surprised how many people do not wear the correct motorbike gear. You don’t want to get on your new motorcycle in a t-shirt, a pair of jeans and a helmet and expect to be protected in case of a crash.
Yes, your helmet is the most important item but you should also protect your body as best you can. Full face helmets and full body leathers are your best options when it comes to keeping yourself protected.
- Sign up for training
It’s important you understand how to navigate the roads while riding a bike – even if you feel confident driving a car and understand the rules of the road. Sign up for professional motorcycle riding lessons to improve your skills – you should have already a provisional driving licence and a CBT (compulsory basic training) before going out on the road.
- Don’t be overconfident
Riding a motorbike takes skill and like any other skill it takes time, practice and lots of patience to get better. This is why it’s important you ride within your level of skill, for the time being. Do not plan long journeys on difficult roads, as being overconfident and trying to adapt to the riding style of your friends or other more experienced motorbike users can jeopardise your safety.
- Watch out for hazards
A motorbike has less contact with the pavement, compared to a car. Wet leaves, stones or sand can all cause a bike to slide unexpectedly. Potholes and bumps in the road, can all cause serious danger for a motorcyclist. If you can’t avoid them, try slowing down and steer as little as possible before coming into contact with them.
- Avoid bad weather
If you’re new to riding it’s also a good idea to avoid going out in bad weather until you feel more confident on the road. Slippery conditions can reduce your margin of error, rain will cut your visibility and reduce the grip on your tyres which makes going around corners tricky.
If you have to ride in the rain, then be especially careful. Be gentle with your brakes, throttle and your steering to avoid skidding. When there are strong winds, anticipate the force of the wind closer to the side of the lane and direction it is coming from. This will then give you some leeway.
Riding a motorbike is great fun. Try to take on these tips when heading out to stay safe and enjoy your ride.